Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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#1781713
matthew_w100 wrote:I've got some chums thinking of flying down to the Loire and overnighting in a hotel next weekend. Hotels are taking bookings but is this a bit ambitious this early?


I am flying off to spend a long weekend in a Chateau in the Loire valley a little later this month along with wife, mother and a young child. Clearly, the activity is not entirely without risk - a bit like crossing a street, but as risks go, we have judged it acceptable. Generally speaking, moving from one jurisdiction in which COVID deaths have been 651/Million to another in which the rate is 458/Million feels like a good deal from a risk point of view.

As for flying in France - I've always found it very stress-free - but that really is a case of each to their own.
#1781716
Rob P wrote:Maybe @skydriller our local correspondent can comment on the current situation in the part of France, a little south of the Loire, where he lives..


...You called... :mrgreen:

The Lockdown in France was effectively lifted last month. Up until today there was a reciprocal quarantine requirement to/from the UK, but no longer. Social distancing here means 1m, but many wear masks habitually as it was Mandatory on public transport from when it started operating again, and still is. Social gatherings are limited to 10 people & beaches are open as are their associated sports. Now most shops are open and most require you to wear a mask of some sort depending upon layout. Most Bars/Restaurants are open and have reduced seating measures inplace, but if you are outside you will notice this less, staff will be masked, you arent. It is expected that many museums will open this coming weekend, as will river cruises/trips.

Ok, thats the official line. The reality is that the whole french "bises" thing is history...but life is going on socially again now. We are trying to use a little bit of common sense. We have had the same few close friends over to visit a couple of times, washing hands & eating/drinking outside - which isnt hard with the nice weather here. I have been flying with one of those friends in his aeroplane, both of us wearing masks and sanitizing hands/surfaces first as a precaution. I think the risk is low here, our local doctor didnt know of any C19 cases locally to us. I dont know anybody that has had it or anyone that knows anyone that has had it.

Regards, SD..
Rob P liked this
#1781722
Rob P wrote:The main issue I face is always around needing to talk to a service and finding they are holding a prolonged conversation in French, hardly a word of which can I follow. From the tone of voice though I can infer that nobody is plummeting onto a poodle farm.


I don't care about the radio - I much prefer to do without. But their pop-up airspace is troublesome and their NOTAMs incomprehensible. And working out whether it's this Thursday or next Thursday that the fuel pump is open, and oh - it only takes Air Total cards. And we're now a 40E taxi ride from town but there's nobody about with the number of a taxi service.

Rob P wrote:I suppose that rules out Llanbedr and St Athan?


And it may well do! The question is really "Can we sensibly overnight in a place", whatever the country. The FCO current advice is that France requires a 14 day quarantine of us Brits.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france
#1781723
matthew_w100 wrote:The FCO current advice is that France requires a 14 day quarantine of us Brits.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france

That's true today, but will no longer be the case from Friday this week (10th July).
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus ... -corridors

For the other stuff, here are some pointers:
matthew_w100 wrote: But their pop-up airspace is troublesome

The key to that is knowing about the "AZBA" webpage - you get an easy to visualise map of what's open when. I have that as a Favourite in teh browser on my phone. Also, the FIS controllers will help you out a lot airborne when asked.

matthew_w100 wrote:and their NOTAMs incomprehensible.

Spot on: French NOTAMs are often abominable (even cf.* ours, which are hardly a model of clarity at times). It's far from uncommon to find a single NOTAM apparently covering all of France, in reality dealing with one or two small areas, typically miles from your route. The details are in an AIC, so the trick here is obviously to download and read that - made MUCH simpler recently when Tim's Terrific Team enabled a direct link from the NOTAM as displayed in SD to the AIC document - so that you can view it immediately without further searching.
As in the UK, the real answer is for the people who create the NOTAMs to think for more than 2 seconds about what they are trying to say from the POV of the flippin' reader.

matthew_w100 wrote:And working out whether it's this Thursday or next Thursday that the fuel pump is open, and oh - it only takes Air Total cards.

This seems to be less of a problem now than only a few years ago.

matthew_w100 wrote:And we're now a 40E taxi ride from town but there's nobody about with the number of a taxi service.

I always use Google nowadays to find that - always works.


*"compared with" ;)
#1781725
Even prior to Friday, the French position is that such quarantine was 'voluntary' for Brits, and was explicitly imposed (as it was for Spaniards) as a result of reciprocal quarantine imposed in the UK.

The French position to-date can be found here

A translation of the relevant para goes along the lines of:

The United Kingdom has chosen to place a fourteen-day quarantine from June 8 for travellers from France. As of June 15, travellers from the United Kingdom will no longer be subject to entry restrictions linked to the fight against COVID-19 but will remain, until further notice, invited to observe a voluntary fortnight's self isolation upon their arrival.
#1781731
kanga wrote:
Dave W wrote:French is one of ICAO's six official languages.

The others are Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish and another that'll come to me in a moment. ;)


.. and even before them, the most international language of all, Morse (and an agreed set of aeronautical Q codes) :)


Morse an international language? I would suggest it is no more an international language than the Latin (or Roman) alphabet is.
#1781733
@matthew_w100 Im sure that you have said much the same on here before about flying in France and I believe pointed out many of the tricks/aids that @Dave W has mentioned which make what initially looks complicated, actually some of the easiest VFR flying in Europe.

Post C19 the restrictions are, today on the British side, and these will end this weekend of the 10th July, so other than carrying a mask for public transport and shops, its almost business as usual.

If you are still not sure about flying over here, send me a PM and I will happily walk you through any proposed trip and how best to plan and fly it VFR. :thumleft:

Regards, SD..
Dave W liked this
#1781736
This business of English being just one of the official ICAO languages is often trotted out in discussions about RT. In reality, the language list referred to by others above relates to ICAO published documentation, and conforms to the language list used more generally by the UN. It doesn't relate in any way to RT.

Where RT is concerned, the relevant reference is "ICAO Annex 10 ICAO (Vol I, 5.2.1.1.2) to the International Chicago Convention", which makes that strong recommendation that English be the universal language for International Air Traffic. This recommendation is generally accepted, and supported by subsequent ICAO publications like 4444, Procedures for Navigation Services – Air Traffic Management.

Countries always have the ability to use their own language at aerodromes where this is the only practical alternative - as is the case at Le Touquet during its off periods, and numerous other French airfields.
#1781774
skydriller wrote:@matthew_w100 Im sure that you have said much the same on here before about flying in France and I believe pointed out many of the tricks/aids that @Dave W has mentioned which make what initially looks complicated, actually some of the easiest VFR flying in Europe.

If you are still not sure about flying over here, send me a PM and I will happily walk you through any proposed trip and how best to plan and fly it VFR. :thumleft:

Regards, SD..

Yes it has been said on here before, and many thanks for your and Dave's continued efforts with guidance and tips. But, and I know I'm in danger of labouring the point, I'm afraid I personally do not find it a pleasure to fly in France. I'm competent and confident to do it now, and I wouldn't dream of being other than fully encouraging to anyone else wanting to give it a go. But it's not a great "fit" for me, and it's only worth it for a great destination with lively company. Both of which are thoroughly spoiled bu Covid!
#1781792
matthew_w100 wrote:The hidden subtext is should I go with them...


From what you have said subsequently, why would you? :scratch:

Rob P
#1781796
"a great destination with lively company." :D Semur. It looks great, if it's open and Brits aren't quarantined and my mates are going. It may well be worth the trip.

edited 'cos the original sounded snide, which I didn't mean it to!
Last edited by matthew_w100 on Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
#1781797
Strap the luggage down tight and throw in a few barrel rolls along the route?

Rob P
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